What to Know for PA's 2022 May Primary Election
Tuesday, April 12, 2022
With Pennsylvania's primary election nearly a month away, advocates for older adults want to ensure state residents are aware of major changes to the electoral process.
After the results of the 2020 census, Pennsylvania lost one congressional seat because of population decline. Officials also redrew state House and Senate districts to better reflect population changes.
Bill Johnston-Walsh, state director for AARP Pennsylvania, which put together an election guide, said the organization is focused on using its 500 volunteers to ensure residents know how and where to vote.
"It's been a rollercoaster ride this year for Pennsylvania voters," Johnston-Walsh acknowledged. "AARP volunteers can help them figure out where your polling place is, make sure they don't miss any important dates before the primary, and also figure out if they need a ride to the polling place."
This primary Election Day, Pennsylvanians will vote for their party nominees for U.S. Senate and governor, with Sen. Pat Toomey retiring and Gov. Tom Wolf's two-term limit up. All 203 state House seats and 25 out of 50 state Senate seats are up for election as well.
In 2019, Pennsylvania passed no-excuse mail voting, which now faces legal challenges after a Commonwealth Court judge sided earlier this year with some Republican lawmakers who say it violates the state Constitution. It now awaits a decision by the state Supreme Court.
Johnston-Walsh pointed out it has helped make voting more accessible for older adults and people with disabilities.
"We've been able to utilize the mail-in balloting aspect so that people could feel comfortable being able to vote," Johnston-Walsh explained. "It's their right to vote. People have realized that I don't need to go to my voting place to be able to vote. I can do it from the comforts of my own home."
While awaiting a decision from the state's top court, no-excuse mail voting will be in place for the primary election. The deadline to request an absentee or mail ballot is Tuesday, May 10, by 5 p.m.
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